Media Analysis: Hillary Clinton Received Most Negative Stories, Least Positive Stories Of All Presidential Candidates

Media Analysis: Hillary Clinton Received Most Negative Stories, Least Positive Stories Of All Presidential Candidates

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A newly released media analysis found that the “biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015.” The study, conducted by social media software analytics company Crimson Hexagon, also found that “the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her.”

As Media Matters has noted throughout the primary campaign, the coverage of Hillary Clinton has tended to focus on fake scandals such as her use of a private email server while her Republican counterparts have enjoyed more positive characterizations. This criticism has been backed up by a former New York Times editor who agreed that the publication has given the Clinton’s “an unfair ‘level of scrutiny.’” 

Crimson Hexagon’s analysis, reported by Vox’s Jeff Stein, “shows that the media has battered Clinton more than any other candidate, perhaps because of the ongoing controversy over her emails.” Accusations of “the media being in the tank for Clinton,” Stein notes, simply “may not square with reality.” Crimson Hexagon’s analysis -- which examined reporting from The Washington PostPolitico, Fox News, the Huffington Post, and CNN -- ultimately found that more “negative stories” were published about Clinton than any other presidential candidate, and that Clinton herself received “the smallest proportion of positive stories.”

The biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015, according to a new analysis of hundreds of thousands of online stories published since last year.

Clinton has not only been hammered by the most negative coverage but the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her, reports Crimson Hexagon, a social media software analytics company based out of Boston.

Of course, these numbers are just one way of looking at media bias in the presidential campaign. For instance, while the press has hit Clinton more frequently, Crimson Hexagon also found that it's paid much more attention to her than to Bernie Sanders. And, by design, this kind of analysis may overlook other ways the press can hurt a candidate — like Sanders — by downplaying or dismissing his or her chances.

Still, Sanders's supporters have widely accused the media of being in the tank for Clinton. And these numbers suggest that perception may not square with reality.

[...]

Sanders's supporters have alleged that the press has unfairly treated the Vermont senator's candidacy, even picketing CNN to protest a "media blackout" of their candidate.

At first glance, the Crimson Hexagon data suggests that they're wrong to complain: After all, it shows that the media has battered Clinton more than any other candidate, perhaps because of the ongoing controversy over her emails.

But the greater scrutiny probably also reflects the fact that the media regards her as a much more serious frontrunner than Sanders. And that may really have hurt Sanders's chances as much as — or more than — negative stories.

Posted In
Elections, The Presidency & White House
Network/Outlet
Vox Media
Person
Hillary Clinton
Show/Publication
Vox
Stories/Interests
2016 Elections
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